Friday, September 27, 2013

Google updates search for those of us with long questions.

I saw this yesterday in a number of places and today it shows up in the NY Times - Google Alters Search to Handle More Complex Queries - I really look forward to this as I am one trying to string
together longer queries.

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Google Buys Bump

In this morning's Computerworld; "Google buys Bump, focuses on mobile file sharing".

I guess my thoughts are the same with Google as they are with Microsoft. Make sure what you have now is working at it's best. Google Docs is still a 'far' second to Microsoft Office and Google Drive is not any better than SkyDrive (if as good as). Obliviously - in my humble opinion.

I use all the above products and I have said often that Microsoft Office is overblown however it is superior to Docs. I think that Dropbox exceeds at speed and accessibility over SkyDrive and Google Drive.

After reading the review link that I posted re: Box yesterday I started testing Box.   

Monday, September 16, 2013

Coming At Microsoft Office From All Sides

In my morning digest from GigaOm the following; “Box won’t say it out loud, but it’s now taking on Google and Microsoft with Box Notes.” It will keep on coming until Microsoft puts the power behind innovating for the current technologies.

OneNote was the best note taking software starting in 2003 but lost it to Evernote when Evernote became available on the smartphone. I actually switched to Evernote around 2008 because it was easier to sync between my computers than OneNote via the use of Microsoft’s Mesh – currently SkyDrive. OneNote has lost a great deal of the traction it once had because of that. Actually I just noticed that OneNote’s price has dropped.

So will Word unless Microsoft can give up the BIG numbers for a smaller less costly app product. I believe early on in the article by Barb Darrow in GigaOM she calls out Microsoft for ‘feature overkill’. Google Docs has just not hit a homerun – yet. Could Google? Well they also have to put something much more into it. You can’t even blog from their own software. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Microsoft’s Enterprise Focus Could Be A Big Mistake

I have written often regarding the fact I think many companies, including Microsoft, are not reading the tea leaves correctly. They see what is happening but because of their closed environmental thinking they are missing changes that are occurring outside the upper floors and it is happening very fast.

blog-promotion1Some missed the speed of acceptance of the smartphone, the tablet, and the power (that could be) of apps.

I had and experience this week that brings to the front what I think of as an example of the Microsoft Enterprise focus mistake.

I had been teaching Excel at a company that is considered to be in the top thirty of the largest companies in the country. During a break in a class a student asked about office 365. His question was; "is the package a full version or something light?" My answer was it is a full version of Office Professional, at least to my knowledge.

I explained that I use it, I have been very happy with it, and I recommend it to others. I also had to explain I just discovered that Excel Enterprise version did have some advanced tools one of which was something called Power View.

Along the same line I have recently had this discussion with an enterprise consultant who brings to the plate an in-depth knowledge of Business Analytics. I am one that convinced him to try the Office 365 subscription which he did and likes. This person also has used Tableau and Spotfire and is now looking seriously at Excel with all it’s recent changes. He might be a bit distressed to find that he can’t get all the tools either.

Is he deprived? How insane is it that. Where outside consultants, instructors/trainers, bring to the enterprise the new exciting tools, there are some we cannot have. If left up to the internal reaches of the company it will be years before they see them. And years before they subscribe to stay ahead of the game.

To augment my point; The conversation about Office 365 (with this career employee of the un-named company) is that his company is using Office 2007 with no plans to upgrade. Because of the nature of their business they could be considered power Excel users. This person wants to buy the subscription on his own and bring the new tools into play. He, and many others, want to LEARN! Microsoft’s Enterprise advantage is not an advantage.

There is an indication here that focusing on the enterprise just might not be to Microsoft’s benefit. The enterprise, as we are seeing, is being consumer driven, outside as well as inside. The increasing rate of acceptance of the ‘latest and greatest’ by the consumer, is far exceeding the rate of acceptance inside the enterprise. IT is scrambling to keep up.   

Bring it to the people!

In a world of BYOD we could be seeing BYOS - Bring Your Own Software. Or apps in the case of the tabletcollaboration and phone. 

This employee got the point. To grow I need to learn more and you know this just might be fun. What is new now!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My 2¢ about Microsoft vs. Google maps

twocentsFirst it’s Bing (ba da bing) and now its map’s. Read all about it at Computerworld - “Microsoft takes aim at Google with Nokia's mapping apps.”

A simple question; Why? The only people that will go there will be Microsoft Fan Boys and Girls. I have Google maps on everything, phones, tablets, computer (via the web). If Internet Explorer doesn’t get more help who will go to Microsoft Maps? I tried Bing and it’s OK but I still use Google.

Actually Microsoft had a map program years ago however could not keep it up. I know I purchased it. They let it, like Encarta, drop out of sight. I also purchased Encarta. Bummer.

Microsoft has to stop fighting Google and Apple (and in the near future Amazon). Microsoft needs to better itself. If they can do that they won’t need to worry about the others. We have Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler doing pretty well.

I do realize the title of the article in Computerworld (the headline) was determined by the writer at Computerworld however the headline was a direct result of a quote from Microsoft.

"An effective alternative to Google," and "more than one digital map of the world" is needed, Microsoft said in a presentation on the strategic rationale for the deal, which was posted to the company's website.

Maybe Microsoft could make SkyDrive as fast as Dropbox. That could be an advantage.

Another thought would be to make sure that all Excel users have the same tools. Just discovered that only Enterprise users get some of the new sophisticated Excel tools.

I don’t think Microsoft has it right and not sure they can get it right.

I may change the name of this blog to My 2¢.

My 2¢ on the Microsoft-Nokia deal.

After reading Om Malik’s “Why I think the $7.2 Billion Microsoft-Nokia deal is a terrible idea” I started thinking about the way times are changing and questioning Microsoft’s scrambling around. I have read they are trying toMicrosoft logo 002 go the Apple way with controlling the devices. I also read that Google is eating into their markets. Time changes everything – as Apple can attest to. Microsoft needs to re-invent itself and not in the Apple mold or as Google.

For the most part I have to agree with Om Malik and his focus on this rather interesting direction at Microsoft however my thoughts go along a somewhat different line.

I like to look at Microsoft as three independent forces trying to operate inline with each other; Enterprise, Windows OS, and the Office software business. So much so inline with the other internal forces that it limits each groups own innovation.

Enterprise has it's own nightmare. At one time it was controlled completely by corporate inside IT people, today that may not always be the case. Microsoft’s Enterprise division (group) needs it's own direction without influence from other internal sources. The Enterprise side needs to be flexible and open to all the devices currently being relied upon my the organizational worker – or ‘consumer’. As I see it the Enterprise is becoming less of a dictatorial environment and more democratic. BYOD is becoming (has become in some cases) the standard. They will be connecting that Apple, Google, Amazon, device to the internal network. Forcing Enterprise to work with Windows or Microsoft Office could create a bind in the long run.

As for the Window OS division they have their challenges. Chrome is gaining OS share over Apple and could over take Microsoft Windows in the open market (I said could). The Windows OS (and I like 8.1) is still not as quick or as open to accepting outside app’s as it should be. Again that is if it wants to stay number one or become iOS whose market is still on the small side but totally independent. Based on what is happening to the Enterprise area, iOS and Chrome could very well be a contender for space, and perhaps already are. 

The one big 'potential' money end for Microsoft is the Office software. Microsoft needs to acknowledge the advances of Google and Apple (and perhaps Amazon) in the tablet and phone markets and provide 'real time' app's for these devices, something other than connection to SkyDrive. It will hurt their large dollar revenue numbers in the short run however other cost savings will also go along and profit could, in the long run, still be there.

I priced out a laptop computer this week for someone and in the process discovered that to go from 8GB of RAM memory to 16GB was only $80. Two years ago that was $300. Perhaps Microsoft won’t be able to sell that Office package in the future for $400 – who will use it?

Question: Should Microsoft become the Microsoft Group? Operating 3 independent Public companies?